Shakespeare concluded that “brevity is the soul of wit.” While that may be true, Aldous Huxley’s take on brevity in the foreword of Brave New World Revisited may be even truer.
The soul of wit may become the very body of untruth.
Those words seem even more relevant in the age of 24-hour news and blogging than they were when Huxley wrote them in the 1950’s. How often do we allow our quest for wit overtake our responsibility to truth?
I am just as guilty on this as any mainstream media reporter. You find a great story that supports your position so well, but there is one nagging little detail that weakens the point. What do we do with that point?
Too often reporters leave it out and justify the action by the need for wit, “readability” or “advancing the story.” Bloggers may add a link to the original story and feel that offsets leaving the unwanted detail out of our post.
If bloggers truly wanted to differentiate themselves from the old media, this is one way to do it. Report all the facts regardless of which way they point and let the reader decide for themselves.
We will never be able to cover everything, but the world is not waiting breathlessly on my opinion of the Harriet Miers withdrawal or the CIA leak investigation. We must simply be principled in what we do cover and write about.
If we honestly believe that our principles (be they conservative, liberal, or in between) are right and true, then we have nothing to fear from that “one detail.” We can give our readers all the information knowing that at the end of the day they will appreciate our honesty and possibly even be persuaded by our forthright presentation of the facts.
When we engage in the easiest form of deception (hiding details), we insinuate several negative things about our readers and our ideas.
We apparently believe that our readers are too ignorant to find our hidden detail, that they will simple lap up whatever opinion we care to place on our blog. One could also assume that we do not trust our own ideas and principles to be true and right, so we need to “help” them by covering up some harmful details.
All of these go doubly for Christian bloggers. We are called to even higher standards. We must be honest in all accounts – the very reputation of Christ depends on it. Having been able to “taste and see,” we know the validity of Jesus and His claims. He is Truth and needs no help from half-truths and distortions.